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Smart Buy, Everything-Old-Is-New-Again Edition: Roller Towels from the UK

Linen Roller Towel Holder from March SF

Confession: I just can’t seem to quit paper towels. Between my spill-prone kids and a regurgitation-prone dog, I’m not sure if I ever will. I do know, though, that I can do a better job encouraging the use of linens when it comes to hand-drying. I’ve caught the boys reaching for the paper towels because, they complain, the hand towel had just been used and was still soggy. “Why can’t we get a hand dryer that blows hot air out,” they ask. Really?

This is why I’m considering installing a wooden rail for roller towels. What is a roller towel? (I hadn’t heard of it either.) It’s a towel that’s attached at the ends to form a loop. Hung from a roller towel rail in a kitchen or bath, it solves the age-old-dilemma of having to dry your hands on a towel that your little brother has already used. After you wash your hands, simply pull the towel down for a dry section; the wet part cycles to the back.

Recently, I’ve spotted some great-looking roller towels and Shaker-like wooden rails in some of our favorite stores, like Labour & Wait, March, and Objects of Use. It’s no accident that two of the three are based in England. Roller towels are a distinctly Old World thing—one that we wouldn’t mind importing to the New World. Here are some lovely examples:

Above: Willow & Lake sells the Solid Oak Roller Towel Holder with your choice of continuous towel—either in cream or red; £46.50. Grace & Glory Home carries the same wooden rail and cotton-linen roller towels but sells them separately; their Roller Towels are £15 each and come in an additional blue colorway.
Re-Found Objects Linen Waste Not Roller Towel
Above: Julie first discovered Re-Found Objects in 2012 (see Fabrics & Linens: Waste Not Want Not Linens from Re-Found Objects). Its hand-printed “Waste Not Want Not” fabric, made in France, still feel fresh today. Here, it’s been turned into a Linen Waste Not Roller Towel for £23.50; the Wooden Holder is also £23.50.
Above: From Labour & Wait, the Roller Towel Holder is made of solid oak and comes with brass fittings; £32. The Roller Towels are £15 each.
Linen Roller Towel Holder from March SF
Above: Rejoice! Here’s a stateside option. From one of our favorite stores, March, in San Francisco, comes this refined, modern-looking Roller Towel Holder and Towel ($142). The holder is made of turned oak and beech; the towel is heavy motte linen.
Above: Sheila Maid, maker of one of the best laundry room accessories ever (see Object Lessons: The Sheila Maid Clothes Airer), carries the oak Roller Towel Rail in two finishes: Deluxe Oak and Shaker Cream Style. Both are £32 each.
Above: Linen Roller Towels from London-based Linen Works can be had for £29 each, shown in chalk (left) and pale gray.

More British storage style ahead:

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